Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Chapter 15 (#PotterheadReadAlong19)

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In Chapter 15, Hermione is starting to break down and we get to see the Quidditch Cup Final. Let’s go!

The best thing about Buckbeak’s sentencing? It brings Ron and Hermione back together again. Ron tells her that he will help with the appeal, that she doesn’t have to work alone anymore, and Hermione finally apologizes for what happened to Scabbers. It’s a beautiful thing. Another beautiful thing? Hermione is finally at her breaking point. The only chance they have to check in with Hagrid is during their Care of Magical Creatures class, and when they hear Malfoy & Co. making fun of Hagrid’s sorrow, Hermione hauls off and smacks Malfoy across his smarmy face. You go, girl!

Something is still weird with Hermione though. After class, she just disappears, and then doesn’t show up in their next class, Charms. They find her in the common room asleep on her papers. She wakes up panicking that she “forgot” to go to Charms, even though she had been right behind them after Care of Magical Creatures. Then in Divination, she flips out again.

“Fine!” said Hermione suddenly, getting up and cramming Unfogging the Future back into her bag. “Fine!” she repeated, swinging the bag over her shoulder and almost knocking Ron off his chair. “I give up! I’m leaving!”

And to the whole class’s amazement, Hermione strode over to the trapdoor, kicked it open, and climbed down the ladder out of sight.

This is so unlike Hermione! But let’s also be honest – hasn’t everyone wanted to do this in class, at one time or another? I know there were several classes when I was in school that I wouldn’t have minded just walking out of. Still though, for Hermione, this is weird. She is now spending all her time studying and constantly looks close to tears. I relate to her so much! Sweetie, I’ve been there! It’s not worth it!

The big event in this chapter is the final Quidditch match of the year, Gryffindor vs. Slytherin, the one that could give Gryffindor the Quidditch Cup. Oliver Wood is a machine, man, but Harry is really nervous. A lot is riding on this, and he certainly doesn’t want to lose to Malfoy. The morning of the match, though, Harry sees something very unsettling. At first, he sees an animal of some kind prowling on the school grounds and sees that it’s just Crookshanks.

Or was it only Crookshanks? Harry squinted, pressing his nose flat against the glass. Crookshanks seemed to have come to a halt. Harry was sure he could see something else moving in the shadow of the trees too.

And just then, it emerged – a gigantic, shaggy black dog, moving stealthily across the lawn, Crookshanks trotting at its side. Harry stared. What did this mean? If Crookshanks could see the dog as well, how could it be an omen of Harry’s death?

All good questions. Is it really just a dog? Rhetorical question for my fellow Potterheads – of course it isn’t! But Harry doesn’t know that yet! All he knows is that a giant black dog seems to be everywhere. WHAT COULD IT MEAN!!

Again, I’m not going to do a play-by-play on the Quidditch match, but it is a down-and-dirty fight. Penalties on all sides, but Gryffindor finally wins and wins the Cup. Everyone is happy!

See you next time for Chapter 16!



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